Larval crowding effects during early development in the Chinese oak silkmoth Antheraea pernyi (Lepidoptera: Saturniidae)

Juliano Morimoto Borges* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chinese sericulture relies in part on the rearing of the Chinese oak silkmoth Antheraea pernyi, an insect with key cultural and ecological roles. While feeding primarily on oak, Antheraea species are known to accept alternative hosts such as birch Betula sp with little to no apparent negative fitness consequences. This opens up the range of hostplants that could be used for large-scale rearing of A. pernyi for silk production and food, or used by this species in possible invasions. To date, however, the natural history and ecology of A. pernyi remain subject of investigation. For instance, we still do not know how individuals respond to crowding developmental environments, which is an important factor to consider for the ecology of the species as well as for commercial rearing. Here, I describe the implications of larval crowding to the survival and growth of A. pernyi larvae during early development. I show that higher crowding is associated with stronger negative effects on growth and survival, corroborating findings from other holometabolous insects. I then discuss the implications of this findings for our understanding of optimum larval crowding. Overall, the findings reveal important ecological information for an insect species key for provisioning and cultural ecosystem services.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere9283
JournalEcology and Evolution
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sep 2022


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